Reward Credit Cards

From groceries to gas, get paid for everyday purchases on your credit card. Rewards cards give you incentives - typically in cash, points or miles - based on how much you spend. You can redeem your rewards for cash, shopping or travel. Be sure to check out our best credit cards to view the variety of reward offers from our partners.

See offers from our partners below.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Special Introductory Offer: Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Enjoy another Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! That's right, annually for $99 (plus taxes and fees from $22) on your account anniversary valid on Alaska and Virgin America flights booked on alaskaair.com
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska and Virgin America flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign transaction fees.
  • There are two types of cards: the Visa Signature® card and the Platinum Plus® card. The card you receive will be determined by several factors including your income and credit history.
  • The benefits and bonus miles above apply to Visa Signature cards only. The Annual Fees, benefits and bonus miles for Platinum Plus® cards are different.
  • For more information on the differences, see the Features section accompanying the application.
Apply Now at Bank of America's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$75
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • New Cardmember bonus: $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible net purchases.
  • No categories. Just use your card and earn unlimited cash back.
  • Cash back never expires and no minimum redemption options.
  • No Annual Fee*.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.24% - 24.24%
Apply Now at U.S. Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0%* for 12 billing cycles*
Regular APR
15.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0*
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

1,245 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $85
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Apply Now at Citi's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Comparing Rewards Credit Card Offers

Updated: February 20, 2018

The experts at CreditCards.com have pulled together the best rewards credit cards for various spending categories. Each card has different rewards and fees, but we make it easy for you to decide on which is best for your spending habits. Choosing a rewards card is an important financial decision, so we lay out the pros and cons for you all in one place.

CreditCards.com's Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2018 Are:

What Our Experts are Saying

Johnny Jet, travel expert
Favorite rewards card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
“I like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus over the Chase Sapphire Reserve for two reasons: It has a much lower annual fee, and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus has chip-with-PIN capability, which makes it easier for travel internationally.”

Lisa Gerstner, contributing editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Favorite rewards card: Chase Sapphire Reserve
“In many cases, I’d shy away from giving the crown to a card with a $450 annual fee, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with such an attractive set of perks that you don’t have to be a jet setter to glean plenty of value from the card.”

Holly Johnson, personal finance expert and publisher of Club Thrifty
Favorite rewards card: Chase Sapphire Reserve
“In my opinion, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers the best bonus, the most generous perks, and a more well-rounded and flexible rewards program than any other card out there.”

Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com
Favorite rewards card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
“For the average American, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is tough to beat. It is flexible. It comes with a strong sign-up bonus and a lower minimum spend needed to get it.”

Daniel Ray, editor-in-chief at CreditCards.com
Favorite rewards card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
“The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard offers a relatively low-cost, low-risk way to play the rewards game to your advantage. If you are the sort who isn’t a jet setter, but takes maybe one, maybe two international trips per year, this card is an outstanding companion.”

Full Details on Rewards Credit Cards

If you want to get more value from your spending, a rewards card that offers points or miles could be just what you need to ramp up your earnings and cut your travel costs.

Rewards credit cards can offer big sign-up bonuses, travel perks and flexibility when redeeming rewards.

Before you pick a rewards card, though, think carefully about your spending habits and travel plans. Some rewards cards offer lavish benefits to frequent travelers, while others reward cardholders who are modest spenders who want significant rewards without a big commitment.

But there are some tricks to how to use these cards. Here, we look at:

  • What are credit card rewards?
  • Different types of rewards cards
  • How to get the most out of credit card rewards?
  • When is a rewards card most worth it?
  • How to redeem rewards
  • Who qualifies for/should get a rewards card?
  • Rewards rates for various spending categories
  • What to watch out for with rewards credit cards

What are credit card rewards?

Card rewards can come in points, miles or cash back. In each, you might be rewarded for using the card to make certain purchases or for all purchases. Airline and hotel cards reward you for making purchases with those brands. Once you earn the points or cash, you can redeem through travel purchases, statement credits, gift cards, shopping and more.

Different types of rewards cards

Rewards CategoryWhat to Consider
General Purpose TravelHow often you travel; lower rewards
Airline, HotelRewards brand loyalty; annual fee
Cash BackCan avoid annual fee; quarterly categories
BusinessRewards for business-related expenses
LuxuryHigher annual fees; luxury benefits
RetailHigher rewards for brand loyalty
GasMight accept fair credit; higher rewards for gas

How to get the most out of credit card rewards

  1. What kind of card is it? There are all manner of travel and cashback cards, including co-branded or general-purpose cards, as well as cards with quarterly categories or flat-rate rewards.
  2. Is it flexible enough for your needs? There’s no point in taking out a card if you’ll never use it. In other words, don’t take out a cashback card with quarterly categories if you don’t think you’ll have the discipline to sign up each quarter and maximize use of the card’s categories.
  3. Is there an annual fee? Will you earn more cash back or points than the cost of the annual fee? This is a deal breaker.
  4. Will you use it without overspending? Never carry a charge from month to month. If you aren’t sure, it might be best to choose a credit-builder card and put a small charge on it each month, paying in full before the due date.
  5. Is it your go-to card? See if you can pay your rent, insurance and utilities with it, but make sure there are no additional charges for the honor of using your card. Buy your groceries with it, and pull it out at restaurants.
  6. Can you avoid paying late? If not, these are wasted dollars and this bad habit can affect your credit.
  7. Are you paying on time? Paying late can mean not only late charges, it can put your account and credit in jeopardy.
  8. Do you want a card with a shopping portal? This is a great way to save some money. Check frequently for deals. You can also get gift cards on these sites, although make sure you are getting at least 1:1 for redemptions. In some cases, you can get more.

When is a rewards card most worth it?

A rewards card is worth it if you can stick to the following guidelines:

  1. Don’t carry a balance from month to month
  2. Counterbalance the annual fee with the rewards
  3. Maximize spending in rewards categories
  4. Plan to redeem rewards, whether points, miles or cash back

How to redeem rewards

  • A portal for travel purchases. With some cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, a travel portal can be used to make purchases using points, with additional rewards for using the portal.
  • A portal for redemption. With general-purpose travel cards, you can redeem your miles for all manner of travel through a portal that monitors your rewards and travel spending.
  • Redeeming for specific brands. With hotel- and airline-branded cards, you can redeem for those specific brands and sometimes their partners.
  • Online shopping. Redeem your points through a shopping portal for such items as clothing, health and beauty aids, gift cards, and more.
  • Get a check. A few card issuers will issue a check for your cash rewards.
  • Deposit into bank account. Bank of America actually rewards you for depositing cash back into your BofA account.
  • Statement credit. A favorite among cashback cards, you can earn your redemption through a credit that is placed on your card statement.

Who qualifies for/should get a rewards card?

  • What’s your credit score? Most rewards cards require good or excellent credit. With a FICO score, you need at least 670 points for good credit and 740 points for excellent credit. That said, there are exceptions, and it is possible to get cashback features with a starter card.
  • How do you spend? If you spend on a variety of items, then a general purpose card is probably best, but if you spend a particular way, such as at restaurants, a card that rewards categories could be ideal. If you are loyal to a specific brand, a retail, hotel or airline card might be a good choice.
  • Do you pay your bills on time? If you don’t, there’s no point in getting a rewards card, because when you pay late, you can incur fines, lose the account and even harm your credit.
  • Do you overextend? If you have a tendency to spend more than you have money for, then a rewards card may not be a good choice, because you run the risk of incurring interest charges, which would counterbalance the rewards you’ve earned.

Reward rates for various spending categories

CategoryCardRewards RateQuarter
DiningChase Sapphire Preferred®2X PointsAll year
TravelCapital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card1.25 miles per dollar on all purchasesAll year
U.S. Gas StationsBank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card3% on gas for the first $2,500 per quarterAll year
U.S. SupermarketsBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
3% (up to $6,000)
All year
Select U.S. Department StoresBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2%All year
Amazon.comDiscover it® Cashback Match™5% + 5% at end of first yearOct.-Dec. 2018
Wholesale ClubsDiscover it® Cashback Match™5% + 5% at end of first yearJan.-Mar. & Oct.-Dec. 2018
Internet/Cable/PhoneChase Freedom®5%*Jan.-Mar. 2018

*Chase Freedom®: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases bonus categories each quarter you activate

What to watch out for with rewards credit cards

  • Rewards' Value. Research the value of the points of cards you are looking at so you can compare them. Also, look at how the points are redeemed and what the categories are to make sure they suit your lifestyle.
  • Annual Fee. Many rewards cards carry an annual fee. While that isn't necessarily a drawback, you want to plan out the use of your new card to make sure you will benefit in the long run if it has an annual fee. Say your card has an annual fee of $89 and you get 2X points back on all purchases. That means you want to make sure you will spend at least $4,500 for the year on your card if the redemption is $0.01 for every point.
  • Carrying a balance. Carrying a balance can be a detriment with rewards cards. Here's why: Say you have a $3,000 balance on your card, but you can only pay the minimum. That means if the card's APR is 17%, it will take you 126 months and you will pay $2,241 in interest fees alone.
  • Late Payments. It can be tempting to use your rewards card with wild abandon because of the benefits of points earned. But never spend more than you can afford, and pay on time each month. Why? Because if you are late on your account, that is reported to the credit bureaus, and ultimately, it is reflected on your credit score. Also, you run the risk of losing the card.

Recap: Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2018

CardWelcome BonusBonus RequirementRewards Rate
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card20,000 MilesSpend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Bonus PointsSpend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card50,000 MilesSpend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Chase Freedom Unlimited®$150 BonusSpend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card$150 BonusSpend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express$150 BonusSpend $1,00 on purchases within 3 months from account opening3% cashback at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, 1% cash back on all other purchases
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card$150Spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account openingEarn 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Discover it® Cashback Match™Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automaticallyAutomaticEarn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express25,000 Bonus PointsSpend $2,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. 1X points on all other purchases.
Chase Freedom ®$150 BonusSpend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account openingEarn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate

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* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.